Though car accidents can happen anywhere in the world—from your own driveway to another country—out-of-state accidents tend to be especially nerve-wracking and upsetting. Unfamiliarity with your surroundings can present you with feelings of shock and panic that may cause you to make a costly mistake. If you’ve sustained an injury as a result of an out-of-state accident, it can only add to the level of stress and anxiety that you’d normally feel. It’s essential that you know what to expect after you’ve gotten into an out-of-state car accident, especially if you’re facing injury.
Here are a few facts and figures that will help ensure that you’re prepared for these kinds of scenarios before you hit the open road.
Where Do You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit After an Out-of-State Car Accident?
Florida residents drive across state lines all the time, perhaps to visit a friend in Georgia, travel for work to Louisiana, or go on a road trip to California. But when accidents do occur—and if there is an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence—many drivers are unsure where to file their claim. The answer can depend on the state, but in almost every case, the state in which the accident occurred takes precedent. For instance, if you live in Florida but get into an accident in Alabama, you will be required to follow Alabama’s state laws. Likewise, you would file your injury lawsuit in Alabama, and it’s Alabama’s regulations that would dictate procedure and recoverable benefits.
Don’t worry too much about whether your car insurance will cover you out-of-state. Nearly every auto insurance policy extends coverage across all 50 states, U.S. territories, and even parts of Canada.
If you want to confirm whether your auto insurance policy covers you or where exactly you should file your claim, reach out to an experienced Boca Raton car accident attorney who will better be able to inform you based on the specifics of your case.
What Steps Should You Take After an Out-of-Town Car Accident?
Getting injured in a car accident is relatively common, especially in an area close to where you live. In fact, 88% of car accident injuries occur within 10 miles of the driver’s home. But out-of-state car accidents do happen, and if you ever find yourself in a sticky situation, you’ll want to know what to expect. Here are a few steps that you should consider after you’ve gotten into a car accident across state lines.
● Call the police and seek medical attention: This step should be taken no matter where the accident occurred. Immediately seek medical attention if you’ve been injured, and always call the police, even if the physical property damage was minimal. Doing so will help officially document the scene and the events that led up to the crash. Without it, the injury lawsuit may end up being your word versus the word of the at-fault party.
● Document the scene and find witnesses: Once again, you should do this no matter the location of the accident. Take photos of your injuries, as well as the damage sustained to both vehicles. Write down the events of the crash as they occurred as best as you can remember. Doing so will be important, as personal injury cases often take a long time to resolve and your memory may fade. Additionally, seek out credible third-party witnesses who may have seen the full events of the accident. They’ll be helpful in court in order to confirm your side of the story.
● Call your home insurance company: Once everything has been sorted out with the other driver, police, medical professionals, and third-party witnesses, give your insurance company a call. Let them know that you’ve been in an accident in another state. Depending on your insurance policy, the company may help you cover additional expenses like a tow truck. They’ll direct you to the nearest repair shop and will answer any questions you may have regarding your policy.
Finally, call an experienced attorney from your home state. You may eventually need a lawyer from the state in which the accident occurred, but your home lawyer can provide you with state-specific details, start helping you build a case against the at-fault party, and perhaps recommend you a reputable attorney from the state in which the accident occurred.
Contact the Trusted Professionals at Baker Legal Team
At Baker Legal Team, we understand how daunting it can be to get into an out-of-state car accident, especially if you’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. Out-of-state lawsuits can be tricky, which is why we want to make this process as easy as possible for you. Whether you’re a Florida resident who’s been injured in an accident across state lines or you’re an out-of-towner who’s been injured while driving in Florida, we’re here to help. At Baker Legal Team, attorney Robert B. Baker will talk with you one-on-one to learn the specifics of your case and build a concrete defense against the at-fault party.
Robert is a Board-Certified lawyer who knows the ins and outs of personal injury law. He has over 30 years of experience helping other out-of-state drivers with the car accident injuries and will stop at nothing to fight for the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at (561) 320-0000 or complete our contact form today.